Twenty-five killed, eight wounded after gunmen assault Sikh temple in Kabul; Islamic State claims duty

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    Kabul: Closely armed gunmen and suicide bombers blasted their method right into a Sikh gurdwara within the coronary heart of Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul on Wednesday, killing no less than 25 worshippers and wounding eight others, in one of many deadliest assaults on the minority neighborhood within the strife-torn nation.

    The gunmen attacked the gurdwara in Shor Bazar space at about 07.45 (native time) as 150 worshippers have been contained in the constructing, authorities mentioned.

     Twenty-five killed, 8 wounded after gunmen attack Sikh temple in Kabul; Islamic State claims responsibility

    File picture of Afghan cops. Reuters

    “At the least 25 individuals have been killed and eight others have been wounded within the assault at Dharamshala, a Sikh worship place in Kabul,” TOLO Information quoted the Ministry of Inside as saying.

    “All 4 suicide bombers who attacked Dharamshala, a Sikh worship space in PD1 of Kabul, have been killed after almost six hours of preventing. Afghan particular forces confirmed,” it mentioned in a tweet.

    The ministry mentioned in a press release that 80 individuals, together with ladies and kids, have been rescued from the gurdwara.

    Former president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the assault on Sikh worship place and expressed his condolences to the victims’ households, the report mentioned.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi additionally expressed grief over the assault. Addressing individuals of his Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi, he mentioned he’s pained by the phobia assault. “I specific my condolences to the households of all these killed,” he mentioned.

    The Islamic State terrorist group, which has focused Sikhs earlier than in Afghanistan, claimed duty for the most recent assault.

    The group issued a press release confirming that its members carried out the assault on Sikhs in Kabul metropolis, Khaama Press Information Company reported.

    Pictures from the blast scene confirmed safety forces carrying wounded individuals away on stretchers. Some Afghan media retailers shared movies of the relations of victims ready outdoors a metropolis hospital in tears.

    Police in Kabul mentioned that no less than 11 youngsters have been rescued from the gurdwara.

    Sikh lawmaker Nardendar Singh Khalisa instructed reporters near the scene that as much as 150 individuals have been praying contained in the gurdwara when it got here below assault.

    The one consultant of Sikhs neighborhood in Afghanistan mentioned he acquired a name from a worshipper contained in the gurdwara, informing him concerning the assault.

    “I rushed over to assist. There have been about 150 worshippers contained in the gurdwara on the time of the assault,” Khalisa was quoted as saying by the official Bakhtar Information Company.

    “Afghan forces have cleared the primary ground of a Sikh worship space in PD1 of Kabul. A variety of individuals have been rescued who have been trapped contained in the constructing,” mentioned Inside Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian.

    Earlier, the nation’s predominant militant group, the Taliban, denied involvement within the assault.

    Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid mentioned in a press release that the militant group had no hyperlink with the assault in Shor Bazar space of Kabul.

    Conflict-torn Afghanistan is presently mired in a political stalemate with two politicians, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, each claiming victory within the presidential election.

    The US, eager to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, has been attempting to interrupt the impasse and likewise save a historic deal it signed with the Taliban militant group that’s purported to pave the best way for peace within the nation.

    The assault comes a day after the US mentioned it will lower its support to the federal government by USD 1 billion over frustrations that the political leaders couldn’t attain an settlement and kind a crew to barter with the Taliban.

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Kabul on Tuesday in a bid to resolve a standoff between President Ghani and his rival Abdullah, who additionally proclaims himself president following a contested election.

    Sikhs have been goal of assaults by Islamist militants earlier than in Afghanistan.

    In July 2018, Islamic State terrorists bombed a gathering of Sikhs and Hindus within the japanese metropolis of Jalalabad, killing 19 individuals and injuring 20.

    Awtar Singh Khalsa, one of many nation’s best-known Sikh politicians then, was amongst these killed within the assault.

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